Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen) Review: E For Evolved: Hardware Overview

By 11:33 Sun, 15 Aug 2021 Comments

Retail package

As other affordable Moto smartphones, the recent Moto E comes in a very basic retail box with just a microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) connectivity cable. Motorola relies on you to have at least one charger plug at your home or you would have to utilize a Universal Serial Bus (USB) port on your computer to charge the phone.

The retail box and its contents

The lack of a headset is a bigger omission, but it may as well be our specific regional version.

Moto E (2nd Gen) 360-degree view

The second-gen Moto E comes with a bigger 4.5" display and thus has a slightly larger footprint. It spreads at 129.9 x 66.8 x 12.3 - this is 5mm taller, 2mm wider than the original Moto E, but the thickness stays the same.

Design and build quality

You'd expect Motorola Moto E 2nd Gen to be visually quite similar to its predecessor and you'd be right. The feeling of holding it in your hand however couldn't be different.

Both are made entirely of matte plastic and don't mind lugging along a thinker than average waistline, but the recent Moto E is made of higher quality materials and the back is made of rubbery feeling soft plastic. There is also a recent design element - a strip that runs along the sides of the phone, which has a grippy textured pattern.

The back panel is not removable but that's not a significant change. On last year's model we could pop open the rear panel, but only to access the SIM and microSD slots - the battery wasn't user replaceable. It isn't now either. To gain access to the card slots, you rego the side strip instead. It's an unusual solution, but quite clever and practical.

Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)

The removable frame is also made of rubbery plastic, but it has a textured pattern, which improves the grip tremendously. The tiny piece is very easy to pop off and you can also change it for a strip in another color, which means you can utilize it to add color accents to your phone. Motorola calls it the Motorola Band and sells the extra colors in sets of three.

The matte plastic isn't as prone to fingerprints and smudges as the glossy materials, but it still gets smudged over time and requires cleaning.

The iconic 'M' logo at the back sits in a slightly depressed circle, just enough for your index fingertip to rest comfortably during a call. This, plus the grippy sides, provide a perfect handling experience for the Moto E.

Handling the Moto E (2nd Gen)


The Moto E (2nd Gen) is stripped of any hardware controls at the front - the Android Operating System (OS) is providing on-classy screen controls instead.

Above the display sits the earpiece, which also doubles as a loudspeaker. Next to it is the secondary Video Graphics Array (VGA) camera. The proximity and ambient light sensors are also there.

Above the classy screen - earpiece/loudspeaker, Video Graphics Array (VGA) capturing camera and a couple of sensors

The correct side of the Moto E houses the textured power key and the volume rocker, both made from silver plastic. There is nothing on the left.

A peek at the correct and left sides of the Moto E

The 3.5mm audio jack is on top of the Moto E, while the bottom has the lonely microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) slot.

Moto E's top and bottom

The centered 5MP auto-focus capturing camera lens is at the back accompanied by the Motorola's logo. The secondary microphone for active noise-cancelling and stereo sound during video recording is next to the capturing camera as well.

The back of the recent Moto E

Finally, the primary microphone is also at the back, placed around the bottom.

Popping the frame

Removing the frame, which requires a bit of fingernail work, reveals the microSIM and microSD slots. You can hot-swap both cards anytime.



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